A touching gateway to Press Here and its many offspring.

CAN YOU PUT ME TO BED?

THE TALE OF THE NOT-SO-SLEEPY SLOTH

A wide-eyed little sloth solicits extra TLC getting to bed in this interactive snoozer.

A hairy, winsome tyke with huge googly eyes stares up fixedly at viewers while inviting them: to help with toweling off after a bubbly bath, to tap pajama bottoms that match the top, to join in a “slo-mo” sloth dance party, to turn lights on and off, to sing a favorite lullaby, to deliver a back rub, and finally to send the now-droopy drowser (“I’m still…not…sleepy…”) off to dreamland with a kiss. Sanitary considerations notwithstanding, younger yawners will definitely enjoy the role reversal and appreciate the little sloth’s constant protestations of wakefulness even as they recognize said assurances as blarney. Illustrations are simple and, for the most part, amusing; in one spread the sloth models hairstyles including 18th-century curls, a mohawk, a unicorn horn and a ponytail, and an Elvis-style pompadour. Some readers may find themselves creeped out by the staring eyes of the sloth and an entire shelf full of plush bedmates (for some reason the stuffed hedgehog scowls ferociously). Still, following all the tipping, tapping, shaking, and other participatory activities, little readers may better appreciate being on the receiving end during their own bedtime routines.

A touching gateway to Press Here and its many offspring. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72823-082-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Fun format; bland text.

LOVEBLOCK

From the Block Books series

A hefty board book filled with ruminations on the nature of love.

While love is the topic of this board book, it’s the inventive gatefolds and charmingly vintage illustrations that readers will fall for. Brimming with sweeping declarations along the lines of “Love is / strong. // You have my back and I’ll always have yours,” the text sounds like a series of greeting cards strung together. It’s benign enough, but are most toddlers interested in generic proclamations about love? Some statements, like the ones on “unsinkable” hippos or a panda parent holding a cub “steady,” could introduce new vocabulary. At least there’s plenty of winsome critters to fawn over as the surprisingly sturdy flaps tell dramatic little ministories for each cartoon-style animal species. A downcast baby giraffe looks longingly up at a too-high tasty branch; lift a flap to bring an adult giraffe—and the delicacy—down to the baby, or watch an adventurous young fox retreat into a fold-down–flap burrow to learn that “my heart will always be home with you.” At points, the pages are tricky to turn in the correct order, but clever touches, like a series of folds that slow readers down to a sloth’s speed, make up for it. The book concludes with a gatefold revealing a vibrant playground populated with racially and ethnically diverse humans; two are wheelchair users.

Fun format; bland text. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3153-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

For toddlers unafraid of typical Halloween imagery.

FIVE BLACK CATS

A troop of cats traverse a spooky landscape as they make their way to a party hosted by ghosts.

Each double-page spread shows the felines’ encounters with the likes of an owl, jack-o’-lanterns or a bat. One or two of these creepy meetings may be too abstract for the youngest readers, as the cats hear eerie noises with no discernible source on the page. The text, which consists of one rhyming couplet per scene, mostly scans despite a couple of wobbles: “Five black cats get a bit of a scare / As the flip-flapping wings of a bat fill the air.” The sleek, slightly retro art, likely created using a computer, depicts the cats cavorting at night through a shadowy cityscape, the countryside and a haunted house; they may scare some toddlers and delight others. A brighter color palette would have given the project a friendlier, more universal appeal. Luckily, the well-lit, final party scene provides a playful conclusion.

For toddlers unafraid of typical Halloween imagery. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58925-611-8

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more